Steven Spielberg apologizes for ‘Jaws’ impact on sharks


He’s gonna need a bigger apology note.

Steven Spielberg admitted he regrets the bloody impact his 1975 blockbuster “Jaws” had — on the shark population, that is.

“I truly and to this day regret the decimation of the shark population because of the book and the film. I really, truly regret that,” Spielberg, 75, said during an interview with Lauren Laverne on the BBC’s “Desert Island Discs.”

Laverne asked the director how it felt to be stuck on an island surrounded by sharks, prompting the three-time Oscar-winning director to respond, “That’s one of the things I still fear,” according to the Sunday Times of London.

“Not to get eaten by a shark,” he clarified, “but that sharks are somehow mad at me for the feeding frenzy of crazy sports fishermen that happened after 1975.” 

The Oscar-winning thriller, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Peter Benchley, tells the story of a man-eating great white shark that was devouring residents of the fictional Amity Island in New England. 

Steven Spielberg regrets “the decimation of the shark population” as a result of the movie.
Underwater view of a great white shark
Sharks became targets for fishermen seeking to highlight their bravery after the movie premiered, according to researcher George Burgess.
Getty Images

Researcher George Burgess told the Florida Museum in 2016 that soon after the movie was released, sharks had a target on their fins. 

“When the movie came out, there was a collective testosterone rush that went up and down the East Coast of the United States,” he said, explaining fishermen thought catching a trophy shark was a way to showcase their bravery, while tournaments began popping up for catching sharks. 

Benchley had previously shared his regrets over writing the novel, which sold an estimated 20 million copies, according to The Independent.

“What I now know, which wasn’t known when I wrote Jaws, is that there is no such thing as a rogue shark which develops a taste for human flesh,’’ the author told the Animal Attack Files in 2000. “No one appreciates how vulnerable they are to destruction.’’

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